Over the next few weeks we will be looking at the word heart in scripture. It is so big a subject that only giving it one week we would barely scratch the surface. There are twenty-one words that are translated heart in the Hebrew Scriptures alone, we will look at some of them, and nine more in the Greek Scriptures. This is enough so you could write a book on the subject.
I want to start with the word 'abbiyr. It is translated stouthearted twice it has 15 other usages
Isaiah 46:12 Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness:
Psalm 76:5 The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep: and none of the men of might
have found their hands
It's definition is stallions it comes from the word abar which means mighty or valiant so heart would be a figure of speech at best and questionable as a translation of this word.
There is an Aramaic word from the book of Daniel bal (Aramaic). The book of Daniel was not done in Hebrew but Aramaic what was the written and spoken language in Babylon.
Dan 6:14 Then the king, when he heard these words, was sore displeased with himself, and set his heart on Daniel to deliver him: and he laboured till the going down of the sun to deliver him.
So it is apparent that this usage means his thoughts.
I want to go to the Hebrew word, Leb, which would be pronounced lav with a long a.
Outline of Biblical usage
1) inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding
a) inner part, midst
1) midst (of things)
2) heart (of man)
3) soul, heart (of man)
4) mind, knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory
5) inclination, resolution, determination (of will)
7) heart (of moral character)
8) as seat of appetites
9) as seat of emotions and passions
10) as seat of courage
Here is how it is translated
AV — heart 508, mind 12, midst 11, understanding 10, hearted 7, wisdom 6, comfortably 4, well 4, considered 2, friendly 2, kindly 2, stouthearted + 047 2, care + 07760 2, misc 21
So let’s start into the scriptures to see how this word is used. I will have the word that we are looking at in red.
6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
Men had become so evil and had moved so far away from God and open themselves to the devil and his willingness to destroy everyone so that the promised seed would never come along and crush his head. It hurt God’s heart that man had become so evil. This is not talking about the organ we call the heart. This is describing his center or the thing that makes God who he is. Just as when it speaks of a man’s heart it is talk about what makes a man who he is.
Genesis 8:20 And builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
21 And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
22 While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
9:1 And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.
Noah made a sacrifice unto God and God looked at Noah’s heart and saw Noah’s desire to please God and that is what the sweet smell was. God saw Noah unlike all others had a desire to please God. All others could not have cared less about pleasing God they just served themselves and what they wanted to do. Noah always looked to please God and that should also be our desire to please God even when what we need to do isn’t pleasant like building a boat in the middle of the dessert.
Let’s see some of the other way’s this word leb is translated.
Genesis 50:18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.
19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.
22 And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father's house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years.
21 Now therefore, do not be afraid. I will provide for and support you and your little ones. And he comforted them [imparting cheer, hope, strength] and spoke to their hearts [kindly].
Joseph spoke what was in his heart to them.
Now you get to Exodus. In Exodus the phrase hardened pharaoh’s heart shows up many times and it is this word leb when it talks of his heart.
This is an interesting one used in a figure of speech.
Exodus 15:8 And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.
Heart of the sea is a figure of speech in this case.
noun Rhetoric .
a figure of speech that consists of the use of the name of one object or concept for that of another to which it is related, or of which it is a part, as “scepter” for “sovereignty,” or “the bottle” for “strong drink,” or “count heads (or noses)” for “count people.”
The word " heart " is sometimes used pleonastically by Metonymy
(q.v.) for the midst, when it does not mean literally the precise middle
[plee-uh-naz-uhm] Show IPA
the use of more words than are necessary to express an idea; redundancy.
an instance of this, as free gift or true fact.
Dictionary reference @ http://dictionarys.reference.com/
Exodus 25:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering
Even in the Hebrew Scriptures God wanted the children of Israel giving from their heart, something given out of obligation isn’t as meaningful as one given because you want to show s the your love for God. We give from our desire to help and cause our dad says it is a good idea!
Numbers 16:28 And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me to do all these works; for [I have] not [done them] of mine own mind.
Moses wanted to be sure that the people understood what he was telling them was not something that came from himself but it came from God.
Numbers 24:13 If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the commandment of the LORD, to do [either] good or bad of mine own mind: [but] what the LORD saith, that will I speak?
This was Balaam telling Balak he is not the one who decides who is to be cursed and that no matter what God still makes that call. Mind is our word here. Again it is what makes the person who they are
Judges 19:3 And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto her, [and] to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of asses: and she brought him into her father's house: and when the father of the damsel saw him, he rejoiced to meet him.
Here the word friendly is leb . Micah went to his wife to share his heart just like we do.
Psalms 27:3 Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this [will] I [be] confident.
David knows within the depth of his soul he has nothing to fear as long as God is with him.
Here is one you should all know.
Psalms 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Have you ever had a desire to do something for God? There have been many times I have done things that blessed someone else because I have the desire to do what will bless someone else. I believe that God was able to place that desire in my heart because I was willing to help.
Proverbs 23:17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but [be thou] in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
Never envy a sinner you are asking for a problem. Our hearts desire should be to serve God and our Lord Jesus Christ.
23 Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.
24 He that hateth dissembleth with his lips, and layeth up deceit within him;
25 When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart
The truth is if the person is deceitful his motives which come from the heart are just wrong and you cannot trust him or her. Their hearts are full of abominations.
Isaiah 40:2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins
Here we have a figure again because a country no heart.
This is speaking of a future time because the price has not yet been paid.
One final one.
Eze 27:25 The ships of Tarshish did sing of thee in thy market: and thou wast replenished, and made very glorious in the midst of the sea
These are just a few of the usages we will look at more next time.